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Sexual Orientation Research Phase 1: A Review of Methodological Approaches

DescriptionThis document is a review of sexual orientation research methodologies and data sources.
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateMarch 20, 2003


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Sexual Orientation Research Phase 1:
A Review of Methodological Approaches

Sally McManus,
National Centre for Social Research

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Executive Summary

1 Introduction
1.1 Background and context
1.2 Objectives of the research
1.3 Introduction to the review
1.4 Structure of the review

2 Definition and classification
2.1 Why definition and classification matter
2.2 Sexual orientation
2.3 Transgender, transsexualism and gender identity
2.4 LGBT community
2.5 Other concepts
2.6 Conclusion

3 Methodological issues
3.1 Why methodology matters
3.2 Sampling
3.2.1 Sampling issues in quantitative research
3.2.2 Sampling issues in qualitative research
3.2.3 Different sampling approaches
3.3 Methodological approaches
3.3.1 Surveys
3.3.2 Qualitative approaches
3.3.3 Other methodological approaches
3.3.4 Combining methods and linking data
3.4 Interviewers
3.5 Analysis and reporting
3.5.1 Analysis of quantitative data
3.5.2 Analysis of qualitative data
3.6 Ethics
3.6.1 Confidentiality and anonymity
3.6.2 Impact of evaluation on intervention
3.6.3 Informed consent
3.7 Conclusion

4 Administrative and large-scale data collection
4.1 Use of administrative data in sexual orientation research
4.2 Census data on sexual identity
4.3 Other administrative or routine data sources
4.4 Continuous or large-scale surveys
4.5 Conclusion

5 Policy and subject areas
5.1 Overview of policy and subject areas in sexual orientation research
5.1.1 Alcohol and drug use
5.1.2 Community and social support
5.1.3 Domestic abuse
5.1.4 Education
5.1.5 Employment and training
5.1.6 Families, partnerships and parenting
5.1.7 Health
5.1.8 Housing and homelessness
5.1.9 Mental distress and suicide
5.1.10 Paying for sex
5.1.11 Sexual assault
5.1.12 Sexual orientation: origins, prevalence and behaviour
5.1.13 Social inclusion and poverty
5.1.14 Transgender issues
5.1.15 Violence and victimisation
5.1.16 Voting and representation
5.2 Conclusion

6 Diversity and inclusion in research
6.1 Community consultation and participation
6.2 Groups excluded from research
6.2.1 Sexual orientation
6.2.2 Transgender and transsexual people
6.2.3 Gender
6.2.4 Ethnicity
6.2.5 Disability
6.2.6 Age
6.2.7 Rural coverage
6.3 Conclusions


The views expressed in this report are those of the researcher and
do not necessarily represent those of the Department or Scottish Ministers.

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